Hustle Belt, for Mid-American Conference fans
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Once again, a fresh crop of great numbers appear in this week's Box Score Heroes. Most of it happened in the third quarter of the Toledo-EMU game.
I am from Akron, therefore there is not an athletic program I dislike more than Kent State's.
However, even I must admit that this KSU football team is really, really good.
"It’s all about preparation. Our guys have done an unbelievable job coming to work every single day and being mature about it and understanding that the only way to get that next win is by preparing," Said second year head coach Darrell Hazell after his team's 31-17 victory over Army Saturday afternoon. "I think the message is getting across..."
During the spring, I wrote this.
In his second year as head coach of the Golden Flashes, Darrell Hazell quietly has his program to the point where it will be realistically competing for its best season in program history
To be honest, if I knew at the time that the 1973 Kent State went 9-2, I probably would not have wrote that. But I didn't, so I did, and I was right.
This Kent State football team has a chance. It will already likely compete in its programs first bowl game in 40 years. But even beyond that, this Kent State team will battle throughout the remaining season, and it will challenge OHIO for the Mid-American Conference East Division Championship.
Write it down (if you can).
The last time the program had a player like Dri Archer, number nine was the signal caller. Josh Cribbs brought excitement to Dix Stadium, and for that (and I am sure his success at the next level) his number was retired in 2010.
But Archer has done something that Cribbs could not, and has not, done.
Cough Cough, WIN, Cough.
That's unfair, as Archer has a better supporting cast than what Cribbs had (and maybe has...), but it is still the truth. And though it may feel like a low blow, it's a good thing for Kent State faithful. Winning is fun. Watching Kent State football is fun.
The football Gods always seemingly come through. This year is no different. Kent State will host OHIO on November 23rd, the last game of the season for both squads. There is a good chance that game will be for the East crown.
Of course, before that happens, the teams have to go through their remaining schedules.
Of course, before that happens, both teams must face their rivals in games where anything can happen.
Of course, before that happens, OHIO should try to beat a MAC opponent by more than seven points.
People like feel good stories. Kent State is one of them. the seniors on the team went 5-7 their freshman year. Those that were red-shirted saw the team go 4-8 the year before that.
The program has slowly been on the rise for a few years now, but I doubt anyone would have thought they would be this good this year.
Well, besides me.
Follow Parker on Twitter @ParkerPerry_
Another dominating defensive performance by the Falcons decided the game and guided BGSU to their fourth win of the season.
They've beaten UMass, Buffalo and now Akron by a total of 15 points in their first three MAC contests. No, it's not many. But the Bobcats have improved to 7-0 despite all the close victories, and they oughta sneak into the Top 25.
Tyler Tettleton surpassed Boo Jackson as the all-time Ohio touchdown passer, throwing two of them and catching a third. Ryan Boykin and Beau Blankenship controlled the clock on the ground with 204 yards on 36 carries and Troy Hill filled in nicely for Jordan Thompson at tight end to lead the Bobcats in receiving.
Dalton Williams got his numbers for the Zips: 32-for-53, 298 yards and four touchdowns. But he also threw two picks and was sacked twice. Jawon Chisholm totaled 177 yards on 28 carries and the whole hung with a better team fairly well, although we've been saying that a lot for not just Akron but everybody playing Ohio.
A tougher test for the Bobcats awaits them next week at Miami. Akron draws NIU.
It hasn't been a brilliant half for most teams, but BGSU isn't most teams. 17 points in the first half is outstanding for them and everyone's getting involved. Sure, Anthon Samuel has some yards (and a receiving touchdown) and Alex Bayer has a couple tough catches.
But it's the BGSU defense, again, shining in this one has disrupted the passing game, sacking Zac Dysert twice and holding them to two field goals, 100 total yards and 1-for-6 on third down. Chris Jones' sack moved him to third all time on the career BGSU list with 23.
Perry Stadium is also being blasted by rain, which means if not for the new artificial turf, we'd have another one of these.
OK, let me make this quick. I have a 45 min walk in the rain to the hockey arena awaiting me.
As noted in the 1st quarter recap, WMU scored on a 45-yd TD pass to finish their 3rd drive and make it 14-7. After both teams traded punts (Ball St-WMU-Ball St), WMU went down the field again to score on a 25 yd rush by Brian Fields. However, Ball State was able to drive down the field as well, but stalled out late. Steven Schott came on and made a 34-yd FG to make it 21-10 at the half.
Keith Wenning - 14-20 150 yds, 0 TDs, 2 sacks
Tyler Van Tubbergen - 7/12 133 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 sack (I think)
Dareyon Chance (WMU) - 5 carries, 85 yds
Jahwan Edwards (BSU) - 7 carries, 31 yds, 1 TD
WIllie Snead (BSU) - 6 catches 109 yds
Josh Schaffer (WMU) - 3 catches 73 yds, 1 TD
STAT OF THE HALF - Team Rushing Yds
WMU: 145 yds
Ball St: 37 yds
I'm out of here, enjoy the 2nd half on ESPN3.com.
Five of my Hustle Belt Comrades who participate in the MAC Pick-Em thought Toledo would have the highest amount of points of the conference. I bet none of them thought the Rockets would need every one of those points, 52-47 the final from Rynearson Stadium.
After 55 points scored in the 3rd quarter, anything in the 4th would have been a letdown. But after trading field goals, Eastern made things interesting on drive that was extended thanks to two Rockets penalties: a roughing the passer that tacked 10 yards onto a 24 yard pass from Tyler Benz to Dustin Creel, and then a helmet-to-helmet call on an incomplete pass to Quincy Jones gave Eastern 1st and 10 on Toledo's 13, and Bronson Hill punched in his billionth TD on the day (before today, Hill had 7 carries for 80 yards and 1 TD on the year.)
EMU attempted an onside kick, which Toledo recovered, but could not run out the clock, and the Eagles had one last chance with 17 seconds to try and make up the 5 point deficit. Benz was able to move the ball up on a check down pass to Hill for 8 yards, but the last-second Hail Mary would hit the turf.
These stats are going to need some time to blossom, but needless to say, records were set. Stay tuned.
After 1 quarter, the score is 7-7. Both teams drove with ease down the field on their first drive. Edwards (BSU) has an 11-yd TD rush on the read option and Scriven (WMU) has a 1 yd TD up the middle.
There was a tip-drill INT by Ball State on the 2nd WMU drive, and they are currently driving (scored a TD to make it 14-7 on a Josh Schafer reception) down the field. Meanwhile, Ball State 3-and-outed on their 2nd drive, and connected on a 51-yd pass before failing to convert on 4th down after the INT.
Still plenty of time to play
24-10 Kent State
The second half has been played evenly. Army's offense has woken up, and their option attack has been effective. However, it has not been effective enough to cut into their 14 point deficit
With just under ten minutes to play, Army has the ball at their 25 yard line. A couple more stops by Kent State will win the game and move the Flashes to 5-1.
Ron English has been very aggressive with the play calling so far against Toledo, but he may have bit off more than he should have in the second quarter.
EMU's reliance on the pass in the first quarter opened up the run game in the second, with big yardage from Bronson Hill in their first drive of the second quarter, but the drive stalled out on Toledo's 38 yard line. English, trying to keep the accelerator down, left the offense in on 4th and 3, but Tyler Benz was hurried by Ben Tate, and his pass to Javonti Green was knocked down. The Rockets needed only 2 plays to convert, David Fluellan broke off a 53 yard run to give Toledo a 14-10 lead.
Eastern ran into a similar situation on their next drive, a series that started on Eastern's 35, but stalled out on Toledo's 38. Facing 4th and 10, English wisely punted it away to Toledo's 9, but Owens engineered a 12 yard drive to go 91 yards, and Fluellan punched it in from a yard out for his second score.
A strange series to end the half as Toledo got the ball with 37 seconds left as the Rockets tried to get aggressive themselves. Instead of going in to the locker room with the 11 point lead, Owens hit Bernard Reedy on big passes of 40 and 32 yards. When TO tried to hit Alonzo Russell in the end zone, however, he threw an up-for-grabs pass that Darius Scott came down with instead. That pick is Owens' 3rd INT this year; this after he had a streak of 277 consecutive passes without a pick.
The Ohio quarterback hauls in his first career passing touchdown against Akron.
In the first quarter of the Akron-Ohio game Saturday, Tyler Tettleton threw a touchdown to take the school record for most career touchdown passes.
Yes, he is a junior.
Along with the record breaker, he also caught a touchdown pass in the first. He is having a heck of a day. He is playing Akron's defense.
Defense, and a couple big plays, has pushed the Kent State Golden Flashes to a 14 point advantage.
A great stat, provided by Kent State's director of new media David Carducci, is that Army only has 115 rushing yards in the first.
Army has ran the ball 88% of the time.
The trick play was a stroke of genius. Army had little shot at stopping it, and it opened the game up for the offense. Kent has taken the momentum and produced results with it.
The defense will have to hold up in the second half if Kent wants to win this game comfortably. Army will use the second half as a second chance to get their number one rushing attack going.
Note: It is really tough to run the ball by Roosevelt Nix and Luke Batton.
It started just as everyone thought it would. Eastern Michigan's first play of the game was a Tyler Benz pass that was picked off by Dan Molls, and Terrance Owens easily converted the short field into a touchdown.
But... on Eastern's next drive, when Benz overthrew Demarius Reed on 3rd and 9 from the Rockets 29 yard line, Jermaine Robinson drilled Reed out of bounds, and was flagged for unnecessary roughness. The Eagles used the new life to get close enough for a field goal, their first points scored in the first quarter all year.
Later in the quarter, Owens tossed a pass directly to Marcel Rose on Eastern's 42 yard line, apparently enamored with Eastern's "As Gray As Our Souls" jerseys. Using the short field, Benz hit Donald Scott on a beautiful 40 yard toss, and then connected with Tyresse Russel on a 10 yard touchdown pass.
14-0 Kent State.
Spencer Keith is the second leading receiver in the game. The man in front of him, Eric Adeyemi, has extended his lead after catching a 30 yard touchdown pass to give his team a two touchdown lead.
There was nothing tricky about the play. Simple execution saw Adeyemi get in front of the defender. The play turned into a game of throw and catch.
Army will need to respond soon, as all the momentum is on the side of the Golden Flashes.
7-0 Kent State.
Spencer Keith connected with Dri....ugh.
Dri Archer connected with Spencer Keith, on a trick play, to score the games first touchdown minutes into the second quarter.
Again, it appeared that Archer was headed towards the sideline with the ball like he had done twice already. Instead, he pulled up and found a free-running Keith who had taken off after handing it off to his now superstar.
Army's defense had no choice but to go after Archer. His abilities demand it.
Through the first quarter, neither Kent State's nor Army's offense has been able to produce much of anything.
There has been just six first downs in the game. Army has four of them. Kent only has 39 total yards of offense after one quarter.
The game remains scoreless.
Dri Archer has gotten in on the action though. He has two carries for 26 yards, both of them were end-arounds. Kent clearly does not want to over use Archer, but they may have to as he has been one of the few positives so far.
This is not a results show! This is how each game this week was picked as a spread.
|Navy @ CMU||6-5 Navy||This game is done, and overall leader ChippewaBlue got this wrong|
|Kent St @ Army||10-1 Kent St||Lone Wolf: numbersdontlie.|
|Toledo @ EMU||11-0 Toledo|
|Akron @ Ohio||11-0 Ohio||Both of the division favorites are unanimous selections this week.|
|WMU @ Ball St||10-1 Ball St||Lone Wolf: me. MAC Game of the Week. If WMU wins, I'm back in this|
|Miami @ BGSU||8-3 BGSU||Some people up top trying to jostle for higher position on Chip.|
|Buffalo @ NIU||11-0 NIU||Another division favorite unquestioned as favorites.|
High Team Votes: Toledo (5), NIU (2), Ohio (2), Ball St (1), WMU (1).
Low Team Votes: EMU (5), CMU (3), Akron (2), Miami (1)